When Ariana Grande made the leap from Nickelodeon star to pop powerhouse in 2013, she also swapped out the curly, bright red hair she sported on the show for a waist-length ponytail in varying shades of blonde and brown. While the updo has evolved over the years, from a sweeter half-up style to Grande’s current power pony, she’s taken it down very rarely, and only for special occasions.
For a brief period of time last summer, while promoting the release of Sweetener, Grande ran around New York City sans ponytail, albeit with her mile-long extensions still securely in place. Several months later, in her romantic-comedy-inspired music video for “Thank U, Next,” the pop star re-created Jennifer Garner’s look in 13 Going on 30 by removing those ever-present, sometimes controversial extensions to show off what appeared to be her natural hair: a sleek collarbone-length lob in her own chestnut brown shade.
This past weekend, however, Grande revealed that her Jenna Rink–esque hairdo wasn’t a totally accurate portrayal of her natural locks. On Sunday—mere hours before winning her first-ever Grammy Award—she shared on social media an old newspaper clipping about how by the time she was five years old, she’d been hit with a hockey puck at a Florida Panthers game on two separate occasions. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, included in the article was a photo of a tiny Grande riding on a Zamboni, sporting a head full of ultra-curly hair.
“If i’m honest ….. this is still exactly what i look like without lashes and my pony ….. anyone who knows me knows me knows ….. like …. i’m twenty five. i was five here. the only difference now is that hand now says bbq grill finger,” she captioned one of several tweets about the photo. When fans asked on Twitter if her curls were still “alive,” Grande confirmed that, though a bit “tarnished” from repeated dye jobs, her natural texture is still “halfway” intact. She went on to share a video of her just-washed hair to prove that, underneath the dye, ponytail, and extensions, she’s got a curly, shoulder-length lob with equally wavy bangs. Prepare yourself:
Despite subsequent pleas from Grande’s fans that she start wearing her natural hair more often, she probably won’t be ditching the ponytail anytime soon. “The pony has also gone through an evolution, and I’m proud of that,” she told The Fader last year, after making waves by wearing—gasp—a slightly lower ponytail than usual in her “No Tears Left to Cry” artwork. “Old pony? I don’t know if she’s that girl. But new pony? I like her. I mean, it’s like a Victoria’s Secret angel without angel wings. It’s still her without them, but when she’s with them it’s like, ‘Ohhh, I get it, she’s an angel.”